This Top Dividend Stocks Is the Newest Dividend King

A stock that pays a dividend isn't always a sure thing. Payouts are discretionary and a business can change its dividend policy, especially if it's struggling or it sees trouble ahead. One way to minimize your risk is by investing in stocks that have long track records for paying and increasing their dividends.

When a company has raised its dividend for 50 years in a row, it becomes a Dividend King, belonging to the most prestigious of income investments out here. These are stocks that are as close to a sure thing out there as possible, with future dividend hikes all but a guarantee.

The latest company to join those ranks was Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). On Dec. 10, the healthcare giant announced that it would be raising its dividend for a 50th year in a row. The company is boosting its quarterly dividend by 4.4% and shareholders will now receive 47 cents every three months. And its previous rate hike was an incredible 25% as the company has done well amid the pandemic due to strong demand for its COVID-19 tests.

With the increase in the dividend, the stock is now paying a yield of 1.4%, slightly above the S&P 500 average of just 1.3%. Not only does Abbott pay a good dividend but it has also delivered some strong returns for investors this year. Shares of its stock are up more than 22% year to date.

Abbott is a top name in healthcare and can make for a solid long-term investment to buy and hold for not just years but decades.